I was lucky enough to take a little vacation to Long Beach, California a few weeks back, and it was so nice! This was only my second time in California — previously I visited San Francisco a few years back. Since Long Beach is near LA and other great locations, I got to eat at a lot of places that have been on my list for a while! So whether you’re staying in Santa Ana, Long Beach, LA, or another surrounding town or city, I have some of the best places list below in SoCal!
Yes, I did go to a lot of nice sit-down places in California. However, the best food I had during my trip was at Plant Power — an all vegan fast food chain! I loved it so much that I actually went twice within 4 days. From breakfast sandwiches, to burgers, to wings, loaded fries and more, this spot has everything you could ever want. Comfort food is the perfect phrase to describe this joint. Their breakfast sandwiches with their tofu egg and sausage/bacon were incredible — I missed having greasy breakfast sandwiches in my life! I hope Plant Power can expand to the East Coast and Boston someday. No excuse to not eat vegan with them in town!
If you have the opportunity to dine a bit fancier while in LA, then you got to check out Crossroads Kitchen! I’d say this is definitely one of the hottest spots to go to in LA, and for good reason. I got their Spaghetti Carbonara and every bite was pure perfection. They really nailed the vegan egg and yolk — I believe the main ingredients are algae and tomatoes! The pasta was fresh, homemade, and had a thick & creamy sauce. Even the pea were exceptionally tasty. We also enjoyed some appetizers that had almond ricotta — love a good vegan cheese! The restaurant was very dark inside by 5 pm, so get those flashes ready for some photos!
Long Beach’s Hungry Angelina is a newer vegan spot brought to you by the incredible & talent vegan chef Matthew Kenney. This is one of his many accomplishments when it comes to launching extremely successful and delicious restaurants. I only went in to grab some dishes to go so unfortunately I did not get the full dining experience, but still very glad I got to try it! I got their California sushi roll (decent/nothing special/wouldn’t order again) and their Chick’n Mushroom Bao buns! Those were incredible! I love anything that includes crispy, fried mushrooms, and finding vegan bao in Boston can be tricky. This was a great snack and based off this, I would highly recommend checking this spot out for a nice lunch or dinner.
Another hot spot in Long Beach is Seabirds Kitchen! There are numerous locations in the area and it’s a nice, casual spot where you could get a quick bite to eat or make a night of it — sort of like I did! I went for dinner and tried a few dishes. Their grilled cheese appetizer is a must, as their homemade vegan cheese is amazing, and it comes with a light pesto spread that really adds to it. I especially enjoyed their Bibimbap Bowl (don’t worry, even our waiter couldn’t pronounce it at first) and their s’mores cake dessert! This spot is definitely family-friendly and there are options for everyone, no matter what they’re in the mood for!
Nic’s is a new vegan spot in downtown LA, and is one of those restaurants where you will most likely spot an Instagram-famous blogger, or maybe even a movie & TV star! I can absolutely see the appeal. Along with the delicious food, they have the best patio with the cutest and coziest decor. There’s plenty of space and they’re very dog-friendly — so if you have one, don’t be shy! I really enjoyed their Gnocchi (no longer on the menu but keep an eye out for their Italian dishes that rotate) and their Kennebec potato gratin fries! Both so unique and fun to eat. The fries were definitely my favorite and it came with a harissa sauce that really gave it a great kick.
If you’re lucky enough to spot Veggie Fam either in LA or at an event, definitely take advantage! I got to try their crispy chick’n sandwich made with seitan at the OC Vegan Fest in Santa Ana. The wait was so long, but seriously well worth it! The texture was amazing, the sauce paired perfectly with the spices, and the coleslaw was delicious in the sandwich. Even their fries alone were great!